This year is the 145th anniversary of the Battle of Shiloh, one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. There were 241 separate military units (128 Federal and 113 Confederate) engaged on April 6th and 7th, 1862. The final number of dead or missing was 13,000 on the Union side and 10,500 on the Confederate side.
JACOB BERLIN (my 2nd Great Grand Uncle) was born on September 30, 1836 in Columbiana County, Ohio and was the 5th of 10 children born to John D. and Susannah Huffman Berlin. About 1846 the family moved to Rootstown in Portage County, Ohio. About 1852 the oldest son, Solomon, migrated to Locke Township in Elkhart County, Indiana. A few years later, Jacob joined Solomon in Elkhart County where they had a brick kiln and a sawmill.
Jacob enlisted in Company “C” Ninth Indiana Volunteer Infantry on September 5, 1861. Just seven months later, on April 7, 1862, Jacob met his death on the battlefield of Shiloh in western Tennessee during the second day’s fighting. He was 25 years old. When the G.A.R. post in Nappanee was established, it was named in his honor. A few years ago I went to the Shiloh Battlefield and Cemetery. I discovered that Jacob was probably one of the many soldiers who were buried in the mass graves as he was listed as a "known, unknown" which meant that it was known that he died there but they didn't know where he was buried. Jacob was not married and did not have any children.
The monument to the 9th Regiment states: "Commanded by Col. Gideon C. Moody. This regiment arrived on the battlefield at 9 p.m., April 6, 1862, moved upon the enemy at daylight of the 7th, was hotly engaged at this place 10 a.m. Repulsed a heavy attack from the front (south), and charged with brigade to the right (west), and drove back the enemy. At 12.30 p.m. was sent by Gen. Nelson across the road to the left to the aid of Col. Ammen. Casual- ties--killed, 1 officer and 16 men; wounded, 7 officers and 146 men; total, 170."
A letter written by Jno. H. Violett of the 9th Regiment was published in The Times, Goshen, Indiana on Thursday, May 1, 1862 and graphically describes their part in the battle.
The Times published another letter, not quite so graphic, written by Capt. H. G. Davis, a member of the 29th Regiment on Thursday, April 24, 1862. His letter was written on April 11th.
RALPH GOODRICH (may be my 4th Great Grand Uncle) was born March 30, 1820 probably in Franklin County, Ohio. His relationship to Bela Goodrich, my 5th Great Grandfather, has not been positively established but they both came from Franklin/Delaware County, Ohio to Whitley County, Indiana in 1838 and in 1841 Bela sold 40 acres of land in Whitley County to Ralph for $50, which was the same amount that Bela had paid to the U.S. Government.
At the time of his enlistment on September 25, 1861 Ralph had a wife (Lucinda Bennett) and five children. The oldest child, David, was 18 years old and joined the 44th along with his father. The youngest child of Ralph and Lucinda was not quite four years old. I discovered last year that I work with a descendant of that youngest child, Alfred Marion Goodrich! If we could prove the connection, he'd be my 5th cousin once removed. The other children of Ralph and Lucinda were John W., Arvilla, and William Swayze Goodrich.
Ralph and David both enlisted in Company B, 44th Regiment of Indiana Volunteers. Ralph was wounded on the first day of battle, Sunday, April 6th and died on a ship at the landing on Tuesday, April 8th. It is not known whether his son David was with him or not. The "Enrollment of the Late Soldiers, Their Widows and Orphans of the Late Armies of the United States for the year 1886" for Whitley County shows that David was a Musician and that Ralph had been "shot through the thigh".
The Monument to the 44th states: "Commanded by Col. HUGH B. REED. This regiment formed in this line Sunday, April 6, 1862, at 8.30 a.m. It repulsed several charges made by the enemy, which, under orders of Gen. Bragg, was attempting to force this part of the line back. During these engagements the woods caught fire. At 2.30 p.m. regiment fell back to a line with 1st Brigade, then to rear and left of Bloody Pond, where it charged on enemy's infantry and artillery. Here seven flag- bearers were shot down. At 4.30 p.m. slowly fell back and supported siege guns. Monday, April 7th, regiment fought the enemy till 3 p.m. Number of men in action, 478. Casualties-- killed, 1 officers and 33 men; wounded, 6 officers and 171 men; missing, 1 man; total, 212."
A photograph of Ralph's gravemarker can be found at the Shiloh Battlefield website. The date listed is the date that he was wounded, though it says date of death.
= = =
My 2nd Great Grandfather, WILLIAM BRUBAKER, enlisted in Company E, 17th Indiana Volunteer Infantry on April 21, 1861 when he was 17 years and 5 months old. I'll write more about him in a future post. The 17th Regiment arrived on the battlefield at 12 o'clock on the night of April 7th. They were too late to participate in the battle but were prepared for battle on the morning of the 8th. I've often wondered if he helped to bury the dead or care for the wounded. What did he think when he saw the carnage on the battlefield? He had served for nearly a year and had been in several battles by this time. What effect did it all have on him?
= = =
Some websites to explore:
The Battle of Shiloh (Pittsburg Landing) - http://www.civilwarhome.com/shiloh.htm
The Battle of Shiloh "A Very Bloody Affair" - http://www.geocities.com/heartland/acres/1257/shiloh.html
National Park Service Shiloh page - http://www.nps.gov/shil/
Eye Witness to History.com - http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/shiloh.htm
A Virtual Tour of Shiloh - http://www.civilwaralbum.com/shiloh/
Shiloh National Military Park Monument Location System - http://www.shilohbattlefield.org/